The community health center and family practice residency training

Fam Med. 1996 Oct;28(9):624-8.


Community health centers (CHCs), sponsored by US Public Health Service (USPHS) Section 330, represent successful models of the application of community-oriented primary care principles. Recently, increased interest has been shown in conducting medical education programs in CHCs. The USPHS has tried to facilitate this interest, particularly through its support of establishing linkages between CHCs and family practice residency programs. In this paper, we describe an integrated CHC-family practice residency continuity training clinic program. We discuss the challenges inherent to conducting family practice residency training in the CHC, including the educational content of clinical experiences, the impact of provider productivity expectations, the academic and operational governance of the program, and the financial considerations pertinent to the integrated function of the program. We conclude that while the clinical experiences available in the CHC differ somewhat from mainstream family practice, successful adaptations can be made, and a CHC offers a rich educational environment. We also conclude that the challenges inherent to integrated CHC-family practice residency programs can be successfully addressed. Of great concern, however, are financial considerations relevant to the operation of such integrated programs. These considerations underscore the urgent need for a reassessment of the funding of ambulatory clinical medical education.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care
  • California
  • Community Health Centers* / economics
  • Community Health Centers* / organization & administration
  • Community Medicine / education
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Primary Health Care